Volunteers sought for programme

New facilitators are being sought across South Canterbury to offer Oceans Grief and Loss programmes for children.
A training course will take place this month to equip up to 12 more volunteers to offer the programme, Oceans coordinator Matt Cameron said.
Volunteer facilitators need to be caring and ready to learn how to help children whose losses may have included the death of a family member, parental separation, the imprisonment of a parent, or living in foster care.
‘‘I have been running these workshops for four years now, with many satisfied participants,’’ Mr Cameron said.
‘‘Not all go on to facilitate, but they become ambassadors for the programme and often use the skills in their life or work place.’’
Oceans works through material to help children live with feelings of grief. It gives them a chance to tell their story and listen to other participants’ stories.
They can also celebrate their memories, and acknowledge changes and their individual strengths.
Training of volunteers includes grief theory, group facilitation, role plays, boundaries, video clips, art activities, a programme overview and questions designed to keep a child’s conversation flowing.
Oceans helps children talk about their loss and to identify the things that help them cope.
Groups are kept small, with no more than six children together, all of a similar age.
The programme was offered over nine sessions, each an hour, weekly. Groups were supported by two facilitators.
Oceans was first run in 2006 in Timaru. It has also been offered in Waimate over the past two years and facilitators were keen to also run it in Geraldine.
The programme was developed by Anglican Care South Canterbury to give a New Zealand context for children experiencing grief.
Mr Cameron was keen to hear from people who would like to train as facilitators now or in the future, and from anyone with children who may find an Oceans course helpful in term three or four. – For more information, visit anglicancare.org.nz, email oceans.timaru@gmail.com or phone 0800 OCEANS (623-267) or text 027 4OCEANS (027 462-3267).

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